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[115]
On the eighth day of March, as some people say,
St. Patrick at midnight he first saw the day;
While others assert 'twas the ninth he was born-
'Twas all a mistake — between midnight and morn.
Some blamed the baby, some blamed the clock:
Some blamed the doctor, some the crowing cock.
With all these close questions sure no one could know,
Whether the babe was too fast or the clock was too slow.
Some fought for the eighth, for the ninth some would die;
He who wouldn't see right would have a black eye.
At length these two factions so positive grew,
They each had a birthday, and Pat he had two.
Till Father Mulcahay who showed them their sins,
He said none could have two birthdays but as twins. “Now Boys, don't be fighting for the eight or the nine
Don't quarrel so always, now why not combine.

Combine eight with nine. It is the mark;
Let that be the birthday. Amen! said the clerk.
So all got blind drunk, which completed their bliss,
And they've kept up the practice from that day to this.1

As a salesman, Lincoln was lamentably deficient. He was too prone to lead off into a discussion of politics or morality, leaving someone else to finish the trade which he had undertaken. One of his employers says: “He always disliked to wait on the ladies, preferring, he said, to wait on the men and boys. I also remember he used to sleep on the store counter when they had too much company at the tavern. He wore flax and tow linen pantaloons -I thought about five inches too short in the legs -and frequently had but one suspender, no vest or ”

1 From Ms., furnished by Ellis in August, 1866.

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